Sports injuries mostly happen to areas where blood supply may be poor. It becomes difficult for the tissues to receive the building block materials needed for repair. By injecting a high concentration of platelets into the injured area, it encourages tissue regeneration by releasing growth factors which call the body’s reparative mesenchymal stem cells to the site of injury, and the healing process is greatly accelerated.
More and more athlets are turning to regenerative medicine to treat their sports injuries. Laker’s guard Kobe Bryant underwent platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy on his ailing right knee in Germany last month.
PRP is a relatively simple and safe procedure. A physician removes a small amount of blood (about an ounce) from the patient. The blood is spun in a centrifuge for about 20 minutes to isolate platelets into the liquid component (plasma). The concentrated platelet/plasma mixture is then injected directly into the injured area to speed up the growth and repair of connective tissues.
Golfer Tiger Woods, tennis player Rafael Nadal, New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward also have undergone PRP treatments for their sports injuries.
Other NBA players received PRP treatment as well, including reserve Golden State guard Acie Law on his wrist and Portland guard Brandon Roy on his hamstring.
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